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DNA tests for medical tendancies

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I was discussing this with a member on here and I'm curious if anyone else has done this. Have you had one of those mail in DNA tests done to find out what diseases or medical issues you might have a tendancy for?

I was adopted so I have little family history, just on my birth mother's side, nothing on my birth father's side. My daughter is needle phobic and terrified of going to the doctor at all despite being twenty-seven years old. I am so worried that she might have an inherited tendancy for colorectal cancer and will not find out. She's told me that after seeing what I've gone through she'd rather die than be treated even if she did have it.

If you've used one of these services can you suggest a good one? Or do you think they're hoaxes and a waste of money? I haven't asked if this is something I could have done at my doctor's office. That might be an option, no idea.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5222
Joined: Jan 2013

I am at this stage of my life because I was scared of needles.  I put off having a colonoscopy at 50 for that very reason. Tell your daughter from me, to swallow her fear and get it over with (when the time comes). I didn't have it easy with Chemo and an even worse time with Radiation, but I wouldn't change it for the world, because I am here, four years later. Its worth all the needles in the world to be alive, happy and healthy. 

I was also adopted and have no information on either biological parent. 

I did do one of those DNA tests to find out ethnicity. It was a shocking result for me. HA!  

I know little about the tests you mention. Interesting though!

TRU

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1205
Joined: Feb 2015

Not all DNA tests are created equal. :)  There are limits on what can be found out via tests (depending on which test you are talking about).  The U.S. had limited 23 & Me at one point in terms of the medical reports generated from the tests.  (Not sure if you were looking at FTDNA, Ancestry, 23 & Me type tests, or going more for getting doctor's to do more specific science tests.)

I have done all the tests at Ancestry and FTDNA, neither of which report medical information to the person taking the test, and neither required needles. I did them solely for family tree research.  Swab (FTDNA) and saliva (Ancestry).  23 and me is also just saliva.  The things they test for are:

https://www.23andme.com/dna-health-ancestry/

Some other information on gene testing.

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/genetic-testing-fact-sheet

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/geneticsandcancer/

 

As to needles or a colonscopy, I would kill to have a chance to rollback and have a needle or being prodded again a bit earlier if it would have avoided all this :)  No doubt about it.  Based on how mine developed, it looked to be quick and probably not would have changed things, but....  So make sure you let your daughter know a needle is no big deal ;)  

 

Colonchick's picture
Colonchick
Posts: 36
Joined: Nov 2016

I had genetic testing and found that I have a Chek2 mutation which causes a higher risk for breast, colon, and thyroid cancer. And I've had two out of three!

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Tell your daughter to take a valium and do it.  After my oncologist read my family history he suggested a DNA test.  Turns out my family carries HNPCC (Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer aka. Lynch Syndrome.)  Both of my siblings tested positive, as well, and I have alerted the rest of my family to get tested.  I have had colon and uterine cancer and hope not to get any of the other associated cancers.  We don't get polyps, we just get the cancer.  

Lynch syndrome, often called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. People with Lynch syndrome also have an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder ducts, upper urinary tract, brain, and skin. Additionally, women with this disorder have a high risk of cancer of the ovaries and lining of the uterus (the endometrium). People with Lynch syndrome may occasionally have noncancerous (benign) growths (polyps) in the colon, called colon polyps. In individuals with this disorder, colon polyps occur earlier but not in greater numbers than they do in the general population.

Without this initial test none of the rest of my family would have been tested either.  So far several other family members have tested positive.  

Early colonoscopies are indicated for people who carry certain genetic markers.  I was 49, but my cousin who was not diagnosed until too late was 40.  I have lost family to colon, kidney, and stomach cancers.  Ergo, have her take the valium and get tested. 

Hugs.

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Or "Does a BS degree in BS matter?"

Ok.... wake up call: There is no known cure for cancer.

To date, there is just enough data to fight cancer by treating it as a "chronic disease". The tumor is located, isolated (as best possible) and removed. It's like the carnival game "Whack-a-Mole". There is no ability to date, for any technology to isolate or identify a single cell that is about to begin a new life using the fermentation process. If it can not be identified, it can not be isolated and can not be safely targeted; any attack taken affects all cells within reach, good or bad.

As several politicians claimed: "To rid the earth of ISIS, just carpet bomb the entire earth with nuclear force". It makes as much sense as chemical bombing your entire body in an attempt to get rid of a claim of having cancer cells they can't see or identify.

Getting tested for obvious signs of possible cancer is important. If cancer is indicated and located early enough, the outcome can be very, very different. I'll provide one (personal) example:

I have 1' of colon that was left behind after a major colon resection. That section is medically called "a rectal stump"; it remains connected to the rectum, anus, etc, but serves no useful purpose as it had been disconnected (stapled shut) inside my body in 2006. "Left in", just in case there would ever be a chance for a reconnection.

Years later (2014~2015) I began experiencing more than normal expulsion of mucus. The amount of discharge grew as time passed. I saw my gastroenterologist at three month intervals (she was like a friend). At each visit I had explained the increased discharge and the new indication of blood. At each visit I asked for a sigmoidoscopy, and each time I was told that the discharge, including blood, was a normal event of a rectal stump degenerating (dying) due to a lack of nutrients passing through the section; it was starving to death........ No scope was necessary, since it was a normal occurrence.

In 2015 I was rushed into the ER due to some sort of a urinary blockage. I am prone to kidney stones, but this felt 1,000xs worse. After X-rays, scans, sonograms and a scope, they found the reason...... My urinary blockage was due to a major tumor that had grown from inside the rectal stump, into the bladder and was pressing on the ureters. They placed bilateral Nephrostomy tubes (one into each kidney) for drainage.

If I had been provided a sigmoidoscopy (like a colonoscopy) when I first asked, that tumor would have been found. And that tumor could have been removed while it was small enough to remove, through the anus/rectum, saving my bladder and anything else (prostate, rectum, more) that it has now grown into.

No, it would not have "cured" my cancer, or it's likely eventual outcome of death, but it certainly would have extended my life. Leaving a tumor to grow uncontrolled should be unlawful. No physician should deny any patient proper care when a patient asks for it. Insurance or no insurance, a physician should become a physician to serve mankind. If the choice to become a physician is based on the Lexus model available, or the quality of beachfront he will be able to own, the license to practice should be denied.............

In a "perfect world" such legislation would not be required...

My tumor has not been operated on as yet. The original surgeon did not feel chemo/rad was necessary - "serves no useful purpose", he said.  Out on medical leave, his "stand-in" said that the tumor board suggests chemo/rad and unless I consent, he would not operate. Original surgeon and one other (2nd opinion), confirmed that chemo/rad was of no use and could cause other problems in my situation (the facility he is a member of will not tackle a major operation that this "may" end up being; he is not able to be my surgeon).

I had stopped TCM and herbal remedies for cancer in 2008/9 because all scans etc indicated a total absence of any cancer. All tests were negative until the tumor in 2015 and that would have been found a year prior had a requested scope been provided. (In Asia, they inject the herbal decoction directly into the tumor; it is not permitted here in USA)

So the bottom line? If any problem is suspected, or even to be "just on the safe side" regarding a symptom you are experiencing; as long as the test will not cause you to any damage or harm (physical or emotional) demand a test that may better tell you about that symptom you are experiencing.

Insist on a test if you feel you need one; it is YOUR life you're dealing with.

If you're concerned about someone else refusing tests, please try to keep in mind that it is THEIR life, not yours. Let them lead their life. Provide all the info they can use to be as well educated as possible, but please let them make their own choices. There's a fine line between "love" and "respect"; don't grey that line.

Best wishes,

John

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5222
Joined: Jan 2013

I should go and count how many of your posts I have saved. 

God bless! Or Good vibes! You must go nowhere (as in dying). What on earth would our forum be like without your posts?!!

Thank you! Thank you! and Thank you again! 

TRU

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I can allow other people to do what they want, indeed I don't see how I have a choice. Although I did pressure my husband into getting himself checked out fully lasy year. But my daughter? No, I can't make her do anything, she's an adult. But if doing one of those tests would help to know if she's at risk at least I can give her that information and she might then have the fortitude to get herself checked out. I can't wonder about her all the time. If there's any way I can avoid having her go through this I have to take that opportunity. Or, hopefully, the test would come back saying that there isn't anything I'm likely to pass on and then she's like everybody else, she has almost a 50% chance of getting it no matter how she lives or what she eats.

Jan

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks you guys. I hadn't settled on any one test, I'm still at the checking into it point. I see my family doctor on Tuesday morning. I'm going to ask him about having it done.

My daughter isn't just scared of needles, it's a phobia, she inherited the fear from her dad. The idea of having smething stuck into her makes her faint. She's tough and pain doesn't bother her. She's had a filling done at the dentist because she'd rather tough it out than have the needle. She did get freezing for her wisdom teeth extractions because my friend has a clinic and gave her the needles but used some psychology to do it. I've found that many people would rather not know than go to their doctor and find out they have cancer. I gave a speech to a group of people last year about this. I hope at least one person took it to heart.

Jan

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1205
Joined: Feb 2015

And so strange being on our side of this cancer thing.  As I have said before, we have confronted the monster under the bed and in the closet.  Other than a Zombie apocoplypse or Aliens taking over the world, cancer (coupled with the chemo, radiation and the rest) has to be one of the biggest creature of nightmares out there.  And seeing the humor, grace and strength of everyone here and otherwise, coupled with trying to make people feel stronger about this (told some people recently and said ask whatever you want, I am here and alive), it one of the most amazing things in terms of a positive of this s__t.  I am not sure if I can convey it properly to people who have cancer, let alone those who do not.  

But if I had a nickel for the amount of times people told me if they were ever told this that they would give up, I could cure the disease.  H--l I am not sure I would tell you I would be where I am.  By the time it was surgery for the lung (new cancer or met) it was let's get this over with and move on.  So strange...but balanced with the fear of next week's scan and knowing one of the original things was a met.  And part of my mind wondering how many times I can deal with surgery.

I have decided, not a fan of cancer ;)

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said 'you're so strong' we wouldn't be in the financial mess we're in. As if someone told me how horrible it would be and what I'd go through and I went "yeah, I'm up for that". I knew I had surgery and chemo and radiation to deal with and that was okay but I had no idea how hard the surgery would be- I've had my gallbladder out and had a hyssterectomy- or that I'd end up being in the hospital twice for abcesses and the incredible pain of having the drainage tubes put in for them or then having an infection in the incision site and how much it hurts to have that packed daily and then the life-threatening blood clot. If someone had told  me all that ahead of time I'd have still done it but I wouldn't have been brave or tough, I'd have been a blubbering mess. I think I ended up with PTSD after the surgery and complications and even before the blood clot. And, God forgive me, the night of my surgery when I woke up in the middle of the night I was so miserable and in such pain that I was lying there wondering how I could filch some drugs and end my life. 

No, I wasn't brave or tough, I just did what I had to do and had no idea how horrible it would be. And the emotional trauma that will go on forever because nobody can ever say 'your cancer is cured' is soul sucking. Not a fan? Me, neither. The one thing I think so often is F--K cancer.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5222
Joined: Jan 2013

I told my husnand that I didn't want any 'Long battle' or 'Courageous fight' in my obituary. I did what I had to to stay alive. Sure, I've been positive and upbeat, and absolutely wonderful, but hey.  In fact, I'm writing my own obit. I think I'll definitely put those last few things in there. 

Smile

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm planning to write mine, too, one of these days. I want it to say something about cancer because I want someone to read it and think about getting tested but I also don't want anything about long battle or any of that crap, either. I'd also like it to have a bit of humour if possible.

Jan

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007



Normal
0


Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  Humble  ………..

 

Where the hell did I see that word??

 

 

(I know it’s around here someplace…)

 

 

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1069
Joined: Aug 2013

I'm sure my obit will say nothing about cancer or whatever finally gets me, because the facts of my existence are not sharing space with the crap that takes me down........................................................Dave

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Excellent !!!!

Absolutely Excellent Dave!!!

Very best to you,

John

 

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